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Earlier this week, the Missouri ethics commission approved the implementation of an electronic filing system for campaign finance reports. Political candidates in Missouri must file reports every quarter to make public campaign contributions and spending. Eight years ago, Missouri lawmakers approved the electronic system. Joe Carroll, the director of campaign finance for the ethics commission explains why it took so long to get the system in place.
Right now, getting your hands on a campaign finance report is difficult. Carroll says not only does it cost members of the public ten cents per page to obtain a campaign finance report, it also requires them to make a trip to Jefferson city or the county seat.
The new system will be in place next April, in time for the first quarter filing of 2002. Already, 90 election committees have tried the system. Carroll says it's gotten rave reviews'it's a plus for committees and the public. The Missouri ethics commission will hold training sessions for election committees to show them how to use the electronic filing system. Campaign finance reports from this year will be scanned into the system. So when the website is operational in April, the latest campaign finance reports will be available along with reports from this year.
Once the site is up and running, it will be free for anyone to access over the Internet.